At a glance
- This $2.1 million project aims to understand the science of apple growing.
- Research will develop and evaluate strategies and technologies for efficient and reliable apple crop load management.
- Growers will be directly involved through hosting trial sites.
TIA is leading two new projects as part of Hort Innovation’s Productivity, Irrigation, Pests and Soils (PIPS 4 Profit) program - a flagship research program for the Australian Apple and Pear Industry.
The projects will provide a national approach to developing profitable apple growing systems with trials in all major production areas of Australia.
'Optimising apple production systems' will develop and evaluate strategies and technologies for efficient and reliable apple crop load management.
Crop load management
This research will evaluate a range of crop load management treatments including pruning, chemical, mechanical and hand thinning to give growers confidence in their management decisions.
Tree training, pruning and crop load management are the most important yet difficult management strategies that determine the annual profitability of apple orchards.
The number of fruit that remain on a tree directly affects yield, fruit size and the quality of fruit that are harvested. If too many fruit are left on the tree, fruit size will be small and quality will be poor.
Over thinning also carries risks. If crop load is reduced too much then fruit size will be excessively large with poor fruit quality and a much-reduced postharvest life.
Working with industry
The team will be working closely with growers to test the profitability of new techniques for orchard renovation, crop thinning and canopy manipulation.
The end target is producing quality fruit for consumers.
This will lead to well-informed recommendations to improve labour and resource use efficiency in their business.
Growers will be directly involved through hosting trial sites for research and participating in an economic impact analysis.
For more information contact:
This project is a collaboration between TIA, Agriculture Victoria (Ag Vic), DPIRD WA and DPI NSW.